More and more people are realizing that you don’t need to have cable to watch television. With the internet speeds increasing and streaming devices providing more online options, it is a viable solution. There are many players in this space. We will review a few of the best options to get rid of cable. Let’s talk about some of the pros and cons for each of these streaming boxes. I know there are a lot to choose from, so let’s take a look at the best options to supplement your over the air TV with these great streaming TV devices.
The Best Online Streaming TV Devices
Roku Streaming Stick
A very compact device the Roku 3500R Streaming Stick uses your TV’s HDMI port to stream online content to your television. It does require a wireless internet connection to work. With 2,000 channels and over 250,000 movies and television shows, it has by far the most content out there. There is quite a bit of free content with many channels to choose. The Roku Streaming Stick allows for streaming of Netflix, Hulu+ and Amazon. They are premium channels that do require extra payments. Roku has taken all the best things about their devices and compacted it into a stick that takes up minimal space, has varying options for power sources, and works better than anything at this price point. The Roku Streaming Stick has the same basic user interface as the Roku 1. It’s in a small package that can be hidden behind the TV and powered by the USB port. The remote that comes with the Roku Streaming Stick could be designed better. You should download the remote app for your smartphone, works much better. But, you can not beat the price of about $50.00. This streaming device is a great low-cost way to enter the online streaming revolution.
The Roku 3 has all of the online content that the Roku Streaming Stick has but with more advanced options and a more powerful streaming processor. This device allows for an Ethernet or wireless connection. You can also plug in remote devices like a USB hard drive to stream your personal videos. If you are looking for private audio, it has a nice feature that allows you to plug in your headphones into the remote. There Roku app lets you beam photos, songs, and videos from your phone or tablet to your TV. This is one of the better online streaming TV devices. It’s a little more pricey at around $100.00 but, well worth it for the extra features. If you are new to Roku and are considering cutting the cable this device is worthwhile.
802.11 dual-band (a/b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support
10/100 Base-T Ethernet
720p and 1080p HD video
Digital over HDMI (Dolby® 7.1 and 5.1 surround pass through)
microSD card slot for additional game and channel storage
Roku 3 point anywhere enhanced remote with voice search, headphone jack, and motion control
Roku 3 layer includes IR receiver (compatible with various universal remotes)
Amazons Fire TV Stick also connects to the HDMI port of your TV and requires a wireless internet connection. You can enjoy over 200,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO, and Hulu Plus, with games, music, and more. You can stream movies and TV shows in up to 1080p HD. Enjoy rich surround sound with Dolby Digital Plus (up to 7.1). The Fire TV Stick’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to find what you want. Browse popular movies, shows and recommendations personalized for you right on your home screen, and instantly add new discoveries to your watchlist with a single click. At around $40.00 dollars, it’s a no brainier.
Processor: Broadcom Capri 28155, dual-core 2 x ARM A9 up to 1 GHz
The Apple TV has been around for quite some time and is still a great online streaming TV device. You can use this device with a wireless or wired internet connection. It offers over 15,000 movies and 90,000 TV show episodes in the iTunes Store. You can also access the entire Netflix streaming catalog. Watch live sports; browse and enjoy videos, radio, podcasts, and photos from the Internet or your computer. The Apple TV is an elegant and easy to use little box. The interface is pretty and fairly intuitive to use. Setup is dead simple. The Apple TV sells for around $90.00.
A8 chip with 64-bit architecture
Requires 802.11 wireless, Ethernet network or broadband Internet access
Wireless video streaming requires 802.11a, b, g, n or ac
There are many options today for choosing a streaming device. I hope that this article will help make your decision easier. Having the proper over the air antenna and online streaming TV devices can really help you cut the cable bill.
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I started the site to educate the public on the alternative ways you can watch television besides subscribing to cable. I have been in the audio visual business for over 20 years. I also have an extensive computer networking background. I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and CompTIA Network+ Certified Technician. I hope you will find my articles and reviews helpful in conscious uncabling.